Firstly, what is VoIP exactly?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a type of technology that allows its users to make calls using the Internet rather than traditional fixed-line services (copper telephone lines). So, if you are using a VoIP telephone system, you are essentially using the Internet to make phone calls instead of a telephone line.
Because VoIP is a method of making calls and not a physical object the fact that the term VoIP is often used to describe many different things can become quite confusing.
For simplicity, we use the following terminology:
- Converted or Upgraded VoIP System: This refers to the process of taking ‘older’ style business phone systems and converting or upgrading them to use the internet to make calls (VoIP) instead of traditional fixed-line services (copper telephone lines).
- Modern VoIP Phone System: This refers to the more modern business phone systems which have been purpose-designed to use the internet to make calls. When we refer to a VoIP Phone System, we are referring to a Modern VoIP system not a converted or upgraded one.
- VoIP Desk Phones: These are modern purpose-built desk phones which allow you to harness most of the great features VoIP allows such as, call forwarding, auto-attendant and video conferencing.
- Analog or Digital Phones: These desk phones were not traditionally designed to use VoIP, they were designed to use traditional fixed-line services, therefore, while their operating system can be converted or upgraded to use VoIP they lack the built-in functionality to make all the features of VoIP, such as those listed above, work correctly.
It has become clear that VoIP is rapidly gaining popularity in the business and even residential sector so the question arises…
What are the real advantages and why are so many people choosing a VoIP for their business?
Well, it turns out that choosing to use the internet to make calls (VoIP) turns out to be a very clever businesses decision. It can save your business a lot of money, make your life more convenient, increase employee productivity and give employees the tools they need for a modern, efficient workplace.
Another significant business consideration for choosing VoIP is its future-proofing capabilities. It is important to be aware that currently throughout Australia NBN is being rolled out as the preferred standard for connectivity. Because of this preference we are seeing the traditional fixed-line (copper services) fast declining with some new developments choosing to only install fibre with no copper connectivity being made available. This means that in the near future it is quite likely that a time will come where copper services are ‘turned off’ or made redundant.
The last thing you want is for your business to be left behind with redundant systems. The future is already here and you need to take proactive steps if you want to stay ahead of your competition.
While VoIP offers many incredible advantages, we have also started to notice that some sales people have been making very exaggerated claims which are setting unrealistic expectations for what your business could achieve with VoIP. To set the record straight we have compiled a list of the top 4 benefits of a VoIP phone system with the facts to back them up.
1. Switching to VoIP could save you A LOT of money.
The cost of using a VoIP phone system is usually much cheaper than using a conventional phone. This is because there is a lower initial equipment cost, reduced wiring required and making local and international calls is significantly cheaper when using a VoIP provider.
The facts to back it up:
- An IT World Report found that small businesses who move to VoIP can lower the cost of their local calls by up to 40%. Source
- A 2016 report on sustainability found that Dell leveraged VoIP to aid its mobile workforce and saved over $39.5 million. Source
2. VoIP can make your life more convenient and your staff more productive
The convenience and comfort provided by a VoIP phone system is available to you anywhere in the world. Using any good internet connection, you can log into your VoIP phone and get a dial tone. Simply take your headset, IP phone or use an app on mobile, and you can contact staff or clients on the go.
The facts to back it up:
- According to research firm Infonetics, approximately 31 % of all businesses use VoIP systems due to its productivity-boosting and cost-saving features. The reduced communication expenses and logistical benefits help companies gain a competitive edge over businesses that remain on traditional phone systems. Source
- A Digium Survey found that unified messaging saved employees 43 minutes per day due to more efficient message management while mobile workers saved 55 minutes per day. Source
3. Add amazing new features and functionality to your communications
Aside from making phone calls, you can also use the video conferencing features that come with some VoIP phones. This feature allows you to visually stay in touch with your co-workers and clients to discuss important deals, affairs, meetings, files, documents and agendas, no matter where you are. Now you can still attend important meetings without having to worry about being physically present even when you are abroad.
In addition to this, VoIP gives you new capabilities that even the most expensive traditional systems can’t match. One of the best features is the ability to have soft phones which allow employees make calls through their PCs or a mobile app on their phone rather than being tied to a desk or desk phones.
The facts to back it up:
- A Megapath Report found that Integrated voice and Web conferencing resulted in a 30 percent reduction in conferencing expenses and an average savings of $1,700 per month in travel costs. Source
- According to The Connected Executive, Forbes Insights, 2016, Soft phones resulted in an average savings of $1,727 per month in cell phone and long-distance charges. Mobile workers also saved 40 minutes each day and generated annual productivity gains of 3.5 days per year. Source
4. Greatly reduce your office relocation costs.
For example, when you relocate you will usually need to put in place temporary call diversions. This is a manual process which requires you to phone your communications provider. On top of this inconvenience, if you relocation to a totally different area, you may also be required to pay a $20 per month, per number, fee to keep your existing phone numbers.
With VoIP when you relocate, all you need to do is ensure suitable internet connectivity at the new office location. While the phone system hardware is being physically relocated your calls will automatically divert as per your instructions( given to your VoIP installer) and once the system is relocated and online inbound calls will simply start working.
The facts to back it up:
- MyVoIPprovider.com writes that one of the biggest benefits of using a VoIP service is that you can move your phone system with you and retain your phone number without extra charges or purchasing additional equipment. Source.
- VoIP-org states that as long as each employee keeps the same IP Phone, the system will function exactly the same in your new office. As soon as the IP phones are connected to the network, the re-installation of your VoIP phone system is complete. All company greetings (Auto-Attendant), call routing, voicemail greetings and voice mailboxes remain unchanged. It is really that simple. Source.